Population Density

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What do you think the optimum population density for the country you live, or the world at whole? Do you think governments should set their policies to reduce/increase population growth (i.e. by subsidising childcare, or even restricting the number of births)? I've included a brief map of the world population if you don't know the current numbers, but be aware that it's a bit out of date so you need to add a few numbers on in your head.

image

I've put this in R&P because I want to know what everyone thinks is an acceptable level of population and quality of life, as we've obviously got to stop reproducing at some point. Are there any areas that should be left unpopulated entirely? What is an acceptable strain to put on services, and the planet?

Personally, I think we should work on our infrastructure, get rid of water intensive farming, and allow the nation to support more people.

Then ask Kiribati if they want to become a state. Their government is already looking for a government to take their people in due to global warming and their landmass being barely above sea level.

Dropping another 100,000 people into the nation is no small thing, but possible, IMHO.

Esotera:

Good ideas. Don't know how well they'd play in the USA.

While I'm not comfortable with government interference with reproduction, I'm also for responsibility.
So, I would not be against sanctions on (if not forced sterilization of) the 'Nadya Suleman's of the world, those who are popping out child after child simply because it's Tuesday, all while living on the government's (ie. the taxpayer's, ie. my) dime.

Though, if you simply try to make an educated argument for controlling the birthrate, you'll only have educated people controlling their birthrate.

I think the OP image, together with a swift slap about the chops, should be the response to anybody who argues "Europe neeeds immigration; there's plenty of wealth, resources and space to go around; immigration helps us all".

I don't think it's feasible or even particularly desirable to push a country to its maximum capacity.

Don't forget about immigration as a mechanism that can change population density.

Holy shit. o_O Europe is fucking packed! I like my nice wide open areas in the US. I think even the East would get too claustrophobic and it's not even as packed as Europe.

So that's why Italy has those comically tiny streets...

From an ecological standpoint there are arguments for packing lots of people into a small area and spreading them out over a larger one. As for personal comfort it really depends on the person. Some people would love living in big cities with people all over the place. Personally I'd rather be out in the country then in New York or Atlanta. However, I wouldn't want to live to far away from some kind of big town because big towns=services and shit. Thats a technical term by the way.

Ideally, people would be in smaller cities/big towns. Large enough to have everything you need, but not too large for corruption/inefficiency to be terrible (nor too large to cause traffic problems). I think it is for the best if a population is spread out more or less evenly, or on that chart bright red maybe orange.

Also i love how Canada is basically empty.

Batou667:
I think the OP image, together with a swift slap about the chops, should be the response to anybody who argues "Europe neeeds immigration; there's plenty of wealth, resources and space to go around; immigration helps us all".

I don't think it's feasible or even particularly desirable to push a country to its maximum capacity.

Immigration is not about getting more people overall, it's about getting more young (hence, working age) people to support an ageing population.

Obviously, we need improved infrastructure to support this. More public transport, and innovative building solutions (e.g. building higher, and building deeper) are of great importance.

To OP: I live in London and I don't think that it feels particularly over-crowded (no more-so than I'd expect of a city of its scale anyway).

Esotera:
I've put this in R&P because I want to know what everyone thinks is an acceptable level of population and quality of life, as we've obviously got to stop reproducing at some point.

We already have. Global populations are generally expected to peak by about 2050. Populations in the developed world would actually be falling if it weren't for immigration. Japan (a country with very low immigration) is looking at seeing its population slashed by a third within a next few decades, with a very high possibility of economic crisis as a result.

I'm going to repeat what pretty much everyone with any knowledge is saying at this point. Wherever technology and medicine is available and women are given control over their reproductive choices, populations stop growing. People have large families because they either have limited control over their reproduction or are in a culture where large families have been a path to social success or survival. Once those pressures are removed, people will stop having children.

Most women do not want to spend their entire lives squirting out babies. They do it because they are not given another choice. If you really care about population control, work to give them other choices.

Batou667:
I think the OP image, together with a swift slap about the chops, should be the response to anybody who argues "Europe neeeds immigration; there's plenty of wealth, resources and space to go around; immigration helps us all".

Really? Europe is about to run out of resources? Seriously, shall I fly out to Africa and ask them if they can spare any food to help poor starving Europeans?

You're not remotely worried about any of these things. You're worried that your lifestyle and level of consumption (which is completely out of line with what you actually produce for the global economy) might have to be marginally curtailed. Cry me a fucking river.

The Plunk:
Immigration is not about getting more people overall, it's about getting more young (hence, working age) people to support an ageing population.

It's a paradox, isn't it? Longer lifespan is great, but an aging population isn't. I think the naff, unsexy, undesirable but proven solution will be to have multi-generational families living together in larger houses. Rather than outsourcing child-rearing to nurseries and caring for the elderly to nursing homes, perhaps families should be encouraged to return to the "nuclear" model and look after their own. Although, this does tend to involve at least one adult of working age staying at home to fulfill these care duties, so we're looking at a return to stay-at-home mothers/fathers, which isn't at all like having your cake and eating it, and therefore won't go down well in progressive society.

Alternatively we could just hold out for a) a utopia where child-rearing, nursing and geriatric care are all done by robots or b) implement Logan's Run.

evilthecat:
Really? Europe is about to run out of resources? Seriously, shall I fly out to Africa and ask them if they can spare any food to help poor starving Europeans?

You're not remotely worried about any of these things. You're worried that your lifestyle and level of consumption (which is completely out of line with what you actually produce for the global economy) might have to be marginally curtailed. Cry me a fucking river.

Well, infrastructure, housing and so on was what I had in mind, but whatever, you're not far off the mark. I enjoy the privilege (naughty me) of living in a developed country and if that's something immigrants would like to share in, perhaps they could focus on improving their own countries, rather than jumping ship to ours.

My personal opinion is we need a new world war or plague to sweep through and cut down the population, because humans are DEFINITELY overcrowding the world and using more than it has to give. especially when its perpetually growing. I think where I personally live, we have a decent enough population density. Then again my second idea (which is worse than that one) isnt moral either and I stopped repeating it after I got tired of the disgusted looks and misinterpretations of its motivations.

But, I live in PA, so all he population is either in pittsburgh, in philadelphia, in erie, in the harrisburg/lancaster area, and small sparsings in places like Wilkes-berre scranton and altoona. Most of the rest of the state is still forests or farmlands and largely rural. so there's plenty of room to develop.

evilthecat:

Really? Europe is about to run out of resources? Seriously, shall I fly out to Africa and ask them if they can spare any food to help poor starving Europeans?

You're not remotely worried about any of these things. You're worried that your lifestyle and level of consumption (which is completely out of line with what you actually produce for the global economy) might have to be marginally curtailed. Cry me a fucking river.

Are you seriously trying to imply that European nations have unlimited resources just because we are not starving? There are thousands of things you have to consider other than just how much food and how much physical space there is to go around. You have to consider things like housing, demographics in certain areas (if you want to be responsible), the job market, the amount of the yearly national and county budgets you are willing to spend and last but certainly not (in a democracy) least how much "useless" immigration a population both in various counties and on a national level are willing to accept before voting the other way.

People of your specific political bend often like to paint the world with a black and white canvas. You are are the good guys that fight for freedom, justice, solidarity and all that is just. In the other corner you have the bad guys, a bunch of inbred, retarded, working class, racists that are both hated by everyone yet is also somehow an enormous threat. They are a mix of everything that is bad with the world. And as long as you believe this you will continue falling behind. Because the truth is this disastrous policy have created huge problems that have an effect on real people that voice real concerns. You don't have to look at the nationalist parties to find people who are opposed to this particular party.

*English is not my first language. I don't mean to be inflammatory when I say "useless" immigration. I am merely refering to immigration that serves no real purpose. (Like stopping a workforce shortage). The kind of immigration that by its nature creates segregation due to unemployment.

EviltheCat is right, over-population isn't a problem in developing countries because where contraception is widely available and there is no economic/cultural incentive to have lots of kids. So most parents will have 1-3 children, and if we take two to be the average then in theory there should be no net gain or loss to population.

However, if it wasn't for immigration we know that many countries in the West would actually be experiencing declining populations which suggests that we're below the replacement rate- possibly due to an aging population perhaps? In any case, overpopulation shouldn't be a worry for the developed world, what is a far more serious worry is how to cope with a top-heavy population pyramid and how to support all these retirees.

Esotera:

I live in the UK, and we are hopelessly overpopulated.

the Highlands of Scotland (indeed most of Scotland) are amongst the most sparsely populated areas in western Europe.

square that circle would you?...

Sleekit:

Esotera:

I live in the UK, and we are hopelessly overpopulated.

the Highlands of Scotland (indeed most of Scotland) are amongst the most sparsely populated areas in western Europe.

square that circle would you?...

But on average we have a very high population density compared to most other nations. A quick check on wikipedia gives a density of >250 people every square km, and >5000 in London. Most people also have no feasible option to move somewhere like the Scottish highlands.

evilthecat:

Esotera:
I've put this in R&P because I want to know what everyone thinks is an acceptable level of population and quality of life, as we've obviously got to stop reproducing at some point.

We already have. Global populations are generally expected to peak by about 2050. Populations in the developed world would actually be falling if it weren't for immigration. Japan (a country with very low immigration) is looking at seeing its population slashed by a third within a next few decades, with a very high possibility of economic crisis as a result.

Sort of more focused on population growth than density - the OP is basically asking how many sardines you think is ok to squash into a tin. Although I'd have to agree with you that drastic decreases or increases in the birth rate are generally a bad thing for economies in the long-term.

we could easily put 250 people in one building that would cover less than a square km :P

are you really going to object because we might have to build skyscrapers (that great icon of modernity) in our quaint little cities ?

anyway i think there is an overly pessimistic tone.

people are not solely a burden.

they are perhaps a nations core asset.

cities in the highlands ? why not. (i happen to hold the view such a thing would right a historical wrong...)

we've been building "new towns" since the war...

...some of them might not have turned out all that lovely but we can learn from our mistakes...

that we're not doing it now, when money, land, labour and materials are cheap because of a depressed market...well that's a thing...

sometimes people mock or are perhaps kinda scared by the Chinese building program but i think the truth is people kinda know nations are very obviously growing in "strength" when they are very obviously building with one eye on the future...such periods are held as by far and away the "great" periods of both American and British history...and imho we sorely need to get some that civic confidence back and put our arse in gear...for a variety of pressing reasons...

we can do great things.

The average birthrate in nearly every European country is below the figure required for population growth (something like 2.2 children per mother iirc), meaning that with immigration factored in most of Europe is looking at a pretty stable population. The sustainability of this may be questionable due to a reliance on importation for food, but take it from me; the UK is in no danger of becoming hopelessly packed just yet.

Esotera:
Sort of more focused on population growth than density - the OP is basically asking how many sardines you think is ok to squash into a tin.

As many as can comfortably fit, which nowadays is quite a lot. I know we sneer at high-rise buildings here in the UK, and to an extent that's fine. We have a lot of beautiful historic buildings, but from a quality of life standpoint increased density doesn't matter if you have the infrastructure to handle it.

Urban sprawl is about the worst thing which can happen to this world in terms of the environment, convenience, traffic and quality of life. People in (high density) central London don't drive, people coming in from the (low density) suburbs drive.

The irony is, as well, that curbing urban sprawl also protects the countryside for those who really care about such things and don't get enough simpering nonsense through Countryfile.

But, of course, people like to talk about the natural beauty of the countryside when someone wants to build a wind-farm on it, but really, having (reluctantly) grown up there there's very little natural about the English countryside, particularly not now. Note that some very rural areas of the UK are still bright red on that map..

Note, this is one of the areas to which I will freely admit to being extremely biased!

From what I've learned from geography is that in more advanced societies birth rates are actually evening out or deceasing. It has to do with education and work. But yeah some areas are too densely populated.

The current generation in america is buckling under the much bigger baby boomer generation and is also having less kids. Part of the reason social security is struggling.

Esotera:

But on average we have a very high population density compared to most other nations. A quick check on wikipedia gives a density of >250 people every square km, and >5000 in London. Most people also have no feasible option to move somewhere like the Scottish highlands.

What the population density is compared to other nations is irrelevant. What matters is how happy people are with the population density.

When it boils down to it, people don't move to the Scottish Highlands because they value the things associated with high population density (jobs, people, shops, entertainment, etc.) more than they do living in isolated hamlets. There also exist a wide variety of intermediates - smaller cities, towns, villages - for those who want varying degrees of both.

We could go well beyond 10 billion people without overpopulating the Earth. Way, way beyond. It's a question of allocation, of organisation etc.. Overpopulation, certainly currently, is a localized issue, not a global one. Places like India or parts of China are having trouble. Large cities like London may feel overcrowded. But there's tons of space.
Look at Germany on that map: Deeply red. It's tiny compared to the USA, yet it has more than a quarter of its inhabitants. And we still have large forested areas and, frankly, untapped places. And if we actually worked not to be quite as wasteful, especially in our high-tier energy needs and production (industry, cars etc.), it would be even less of an issue.
Anyway, Agema's got it right: High-population areas are where a lot of people want and need to go. Large swaths of rural Eastern Germany are today pretty much empty or dying out because the young folks go where the jobs are.
All that said: I still think we should follow Sagan's sage advice to put some of our eggs in other baskets. It's about damn time. Not because of overpopulation specifically, but because you just never know.

EDIT: Hell, just look at (especially Subsaharan) Africa on that map. Then look at Europe again. And then tell me high population density is necessarily a bad thing with a straight face. It can play into it, but it's not an ill in and of itself.

EDIT: Bah, screw it, I don't have time for this right now. Ignore this.

@Lilani: I can believe you are way too busy. Up to my eyeballs too! I hope you get your head above water soon.

But I wanted to post that I think there is a big difference between subsidizing behavior and leaving people alone to do what they want to do. At this time, we are subsidizing certain behaviors with results a ruling class might like. (Lower population). I think there are many costs to these subsidies besides money.

ITMT: I have also been told population density wise, our problems are not over-all population but concentration. As we work to end "urban sprawl" I'm not certain fighting density is an issue. I'd like more livable inner cities.

Batou667:
Well, infrastructure, housing and so on was what I had in mind, but whatever, you're not far off the mark. I enjoy the privilege (naughty me) of living in a developed country and if that's something immigrants would like to share in, perhaps they could focus on improving their own countries, rather than jumping ship to ours.

Except that if they did, your quality of life would fall anyway.

You depend on the ability of the strong economy you live in to siphon cheap labour and consumer goods from the developing world. If that capacity didn't exist, you couldn't enjoy the "privileges" of ridiculous over-consumption.

These people live in poor, miserable countries so that you can live in luxury, and now you want to deny them the opportunity for economic migration because God forbid they might take jobs from self-entitled white folks who would then have to go on benefits and still be paid more than most people in the world could even dream of earning.

You know what.. I almost hope people like you get your way just so I can drink your tears when you have to start trying to claim a pension in a society with a contracting population and a shrinking economy.

Atrocious Joystick:
Are you seriously trying to imply that European nations have unlimited resources just because we are not starving?

No.

However, there is no danger of running out. Like I said, we pretty much have the whole world working to provide us with resources.

Atrocious Joystick:
People of your specific political bend often like to paint the world with a black and white canvas.

Whereas, apparently, people of your specific political bent like ad hominems because you can't actually explain your beliefs clearly.

Why is this such a terrible situation? You all bleat on and on and regurgitate whatever bullshit you read in your right-wing newspaper of choice, but it seems like none of you can actually explain why this is a problem. The only legitimate thing you say is that there is no political will, that is not a real social problem.

Have you ever wondered why you keep voting for conservative parties and yet none of them actually stop immigration. They don't do it because they're not stupid. Sure, they'll keep feeding you rhetoric about how immigration is terrible and they're "cracking down" on it, but will they actually do anything? No. Because doing so would be economic suicide.

evilthecat:

No.

However, there is no danger of running out. Like I said, we pretty much have the whole world working to provide us with resources.

But there is a danger of running out. Not out of food or water and perhaps not out of other resources on a national level. But certainly on a local level, there are counties that are struggling because of the economic and social problems caused by excessive acceptance of asylum seekers and immigration by their family. There are groups that, refugeé or regular immigrant, have insane levels of unemployment and criminality in contrast to the general population. This in conjunction with utterly failed levels of integration leads to just disastrous segregation that will only cement the problems of criminality and unemployment.

Whereas, apparently, people of your specific political bent like ad hominems because you can't actually explain your beliefs clearly.

Why is this such a terrible situation? You all bleat on and on and regurgitate whatever bullshit you read in your right-wing newspaper of choice, but it seems like none of you can actually explain why this is a problem. The only legitimate thing you say is that there is no political will, that is not a real social problem.

Have you ever wondered why you keep voting for conservative parties and yet none of them actually stop immigration. They don't do it because they're not stupid.

It's a horrible situation for the reasons I just explained above. Because you can't save shit by cementing an arab/african lower class that will grow up in segregation and criminality creating problems that will take generations to fix.

Even if this was a scheme to save our pensions rather than just a fuck up that no-one will own up tp you would also have to realize that it in itself would be just a terrible way of going about it. It would be much easier and cheaper not to mention more humanitarian to promote higher birthrates by various means of welfare and entitlements that makes it easier to have larger families even if you are a student, unemployed, looking to make a career or whatever type of situation prevents you from having a kid.

It's a terrible situation because nobody really benefits from it. There are no industries crying out for workers, no niché field that is vital but just sub-par here. There is no demand, but there is steady supply. And the ones that are affected most are the young, some minorities and the low income earners already here. The safe and secure middle and upper class are not affected at all or just barely. And yet this is where the most adamant defenders come from. From a social democratic standpoint that just isn't right. We should be moving forward together, striving to accept both highs and lows as one in order to spread the profits as far as possible and to lessen the impact of recession on the individual as much as possible. We shouldn't be sacrificing our working class and our young because nobody is willing to try and tell people to sacrifice some economic security and just fuck more for the good of future generations.

Gorfias:
But I wanted to post that I think there is a big difference between subsidizing behavior and leaving people alone to do what they want to do. At this time, we are subsidizing certain behaviors with results a ruling class might like. (Lower population). I think there are many costs to these subsidies besides money.

Are you sure that the tax write-offs of children are causing women to change their minds as to whether or not they have them? I've heard a lot of different reasons for having children of varying levels of reasonability, but one I have never heard is "I want to get some subsidies from the government." Like yeah, there are benefits you can get that you wouldn't get without a child, but I don't think anybody believes you can actually get a net gain from having a child. And even if there are a few like that, what are our alternatives? Taking away all benefits and just letting them go all the way down to the street? I'm sure that will do wonders for society--going back to the days of people leaving their families because they can't help them anymore and children huddled behind trash cans. Like yeah, people in the Dickensian era avoided being poor like the plague, because it was a fate worse than death. And if they are going to die, then they'd better do it, and decrease the surplus population.

As long as that is what we're actually talking about here, I don't see it as "subsidizing behavior" but rather maintaining a certain standard of living. I mean, even the cruelest murderers and sex offenders are given a roof over their head and three square meals. How are the laziest layabouts less deserving than them for the same, much less their children?

Atrocious Joystick:

But there is a danger of running out. Not out of food or water and perhaps not out of other resources on a national level. But certainly on a local level, there are counties that are struggling because of the economic and social problems caused by excessive acceptance of asylum seekers and immigration by their family. There are groups that, refugeé or regular immigrant, have insane levels of unemployment and criminality in contrast to the general population. This in conjunction with utterly failed levels of integration leads to just disastrous segregation that will only cement the problems of criminality and unemployment.

This argument again. It was completely deconstructed by Doug Saunders in The myth of the Muslim tide: Do immigrants threaten the west?(2012).

Basically: The criminality levels of immigrants are not significantly higher than those of "natives" with the same socioeconomic status. The unemployment levels of first generation immigrants is significantly higher than national averages but this discrepancy disappears almost entirely in the second generation and can't be seen in the third generation. Also, a disproportionately large number of second generation immigrants attend college or other some other form of higher education.

While many European countries are suffering from poor integration, it is hardly on the level that it is threatening to pull down entire nations. At most it will lead to many immigrants living comparatively bad lives when compared to their new countrymen.

So yeah, this whole "Immigrants are killing Europe and America"-rhetoric is, to use fancy words, bullshit.

Gethsemani:

Atrocious Joystick:

.

This argument again. It was completely deconstructed by Doug Saunders in The myth of the Muslim tide: Do immigrants threaten the west?(2012).

Basically: The criminality levels of immigrants are not significantly higher than those of "natives" with the same socioeconomic status. The unemployment levels of first generation immigrants is significantly higher than national averages but this discrepancy disappears almost entirely in the second generation and can't be seen in the third generation. Also, a disproportionately large number of second generation immigrants attend college or other some other form of higher education.

While many European countries are suffering from poor integration, it is hardly on the level that it is threatening to pull down entire nations. At most it will lead to many immigrants living comparatively bad lives when compared to their new countrymen.

So yeah, this whole "Immigrants are killing Europe and America"-rhetoric is, to use fancy words, bullshit.

I don't know anything about Doug Sanders, perhaps he is mostly an anglo-centric writer? What are his arguments? And in what way are they applicable to all of the west, from New York to Motala? And I haven't said anything about "muslim tides". I'm not concerned with that. All I know is that the Swedish central beureau of statistics painted a pretty bad picture until it they stopped keeping track of that.

I've never argued that race or religion were the main causes of increased criminality in certain immigrant groups. But in the end it doesn't really matter what causes it as long as it is there. It doesn't matter if after three generations there are no discernible differences between a Swedish family and an originally Iraqi family. If you just keep it up like we today you will still always have that first generation suffering from elevated crime levels and an on average lower income. Slightly out of whack immigration is never going to pull a country down. Not unless there are thousands other factors at play. I've never said that. What I have said is that I think it is unacceptable to have a permanent foreign lower class that benefits nobody. Not the immigrants themselves and not the lower class Swedes. It's only going to breed intolerance and segregation. The only ones that could possibly benefit are the rich. If they find a way to exploit this new lower class for cheap labor without the unions going bananas.

And this is what I'm talking about with your black and white mentality. I'm arguing for looking over how our asylum, immigration and integration policies currently work because they aren't working like they should. I think its a valid view that part of the problem is sheer volume. Especially in a country like Sweden with population that is dwarfed by many large cities. And suddenly we're talking muslim tides and "the death of europe and america".

evilthecat:
Except that if they did, your quality of life would fall anyway.

You depend on the ability of the strong economy you live in to siphon cheap labour and consumer goods from the developing world. If that capacity didn't exist, you couldn't enjoy the "privileges" of ridiculous over-consumption.

These people live in poor, miserable countries so that you can live in luxury, and now you want to deny them the opportunity for economic migration because God forbid they might take jobs from self-entitled white folks who would then have to go on benefits and still be paid more than most people in the world could even dream of earning.

You know what.. I almost hope people like you get your way just so I can drink your tears when you have to start trying to claim a pension in a society with a contracting population and a shrinking economy.

Yes, yes, I realise that most of the UK's rise to power was on the backs of the downtrodden masses - feudalism to slavery to colonialism and all that, and the combination of globalisation and migrant labour are the current expression of that. It may either hearten you, or make you chuckle all the louder, to know that actually I'd like to see the UK take a step back from that, and along with tightening up the immigration process, also focusing on being more self-sufficient in regards to agriculture, renewable energy and industry, and generally getting our noses out of international affairs while we get our own house in order.

[edit] I suppose what I'm saying is that I'm a potential UKIP voter waiting to happen.

Atrocious Joystick:
But certainly on a local level, there are counties that are struggling because of the economic and social problems caused by excessive acceptance of asylum seekers and immigration by their family.

Haiti is a struggling country, Sweden and the UK are not. You claim you don't want people to view this issue in black and white terms, so I'd suggest you stop insulting the millions of people in this world who do live in "troubled" countries.

Atrocious Joystick:
It's a horrible situation for the reasons I just explained above. Because you can't save shit by cementing an arab/african lower class that will grow up in segregation and criminality creating problems that will take generations to fix.

Segregation is a two-way process. There are plenty of places in the world with enormous migration and yet very few social problems. If you have a community where migrants are socially ostracized and disadvantaged in gaining legitimate employment, then of course you're going to get social problems.. That's not a problem with immigration, it's a problem with our society and one which needs to be stamped out.

Atrocious Joystick:
It would be much easier and cheaper not to mention more humanitarian to promote higher birthrates by various means of welfare and entitlements that makes it easier to have larger families even if you are a student, unemployed, looking to make a career or whatever type of situation prevents you from having a kid.

No. It wouldn't. It wouldn't be easier, it certainly wouldn't be cheaper and it wouldn't really be more humanitarian.

Japan did that too. It doesn't work. You know why, because very few women are going to want to spend their lives shitting out babies if they have other chances to make a legitimate contribution to society. Having children is a shitty choice of career, you are not going to change that short of outright state control and monetarization of childcare, which would require a radical (and extremely expensive, and politically impossible) overhaul of the entire work economy.

The only people who are genuinely going to be swayed by monetary incentives to have children are the long-term unemployed who have basically given up on work, and I don't see how that's a better environment or less likely to perpetuate unemployment, criminality and social marginalization.

Atrocious Joystick:
It's a terrible situation because nobody really benefits from it. There are no industries crying out for workers, no niché field that is vital but just sub-par here.

Yes there are. There are countless growth industries. We have a ageing and shrinking native population in Europe, for one. Who do you think is going to provide you with cheap social care when you have Alzheimers? For that matter, who is going to look after all these kids you want to fund childcare for?

Furthermore, since you've mentioned supply and demand, what about demand? Migrants need to eat, so they'll buy food. Sure, some of them might be using benefits to buy it which is not great, but they're still buying it from people in their adopted country so it's going straight back into the economy. They need to live somewhere, so they'll pay rent. They need electricity and water, so they'll pay for those. There isn't just a fixed supply of jobs, people create jobs through economic activity and demand. If you just gave up, closed your borders and let the population shrink, there would be fewer people demanding things and thus other people would not be able to support their jobs. That is the grim reality, that is the reason why however much governments talk about cutting immigration they're not actually going to do it. "Encouraging" women to have more babies is a fascist pipe-dream, it's not going to happen. Can we live in reality please?

Batou667:
I suppose what I'm saying is that I'm a potential UKIP voter waiting to happen.

The irony being, of course, that if UKIP ever did come to power the entire UK agriculture and renewable energy sectors would die on their feet pretty much overnight..

Growing up in a major agricultural area, it always made me laugh when farmers put up UKIP signs. But then, I don't think most people have any real idea what UKIP actually stands for beyond weird fantasies that it's going to defend them from the terrible yet mysteriously non-specific ravages of the "big Brussels octopus".

evilthecat:
The irony being, of course, that if UKIP ever did come to power the entire UK agriculture and renewable energy sectors would die on their feet pretty much overnight..

Really? Why?

Batou667:
Really? Why?

Both are dependent on government regulation or investment. The former through the Common Agricultural Policy, and the latter through direct government contracts.

Since UKIP's main reason for existing is to attempt to withdraw from the European Union, British farmers would no longer receive any subsidies from the CAP and would now face unrestricted competition from foreign producers. They would cease to be competitive very rapidly.

UKIP claims that it will solve this problem by "labeling and promoting" British food to encourage people to buy it, but you can't encourage people to buy food when the same food is available at a fraction of the price elsewhere. It's probably lovely to dream that the whole country can be turned into some kind of quaint little farmer's market full of overpriced organic produce and people will buy it just to savor the glorious smell of their own farts, but it's a dream that's obviously not going to come true.

As for renewable energy.. Let's just say that UKIP "takes a skeptical view" to the idea of man made global warming and heavily opposes the use of renewable energy sources, full stop.

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